Best Sports Photography Lenses for Canon M50 & M50 Mark II [2024]

  • Post author:

Sports photography is a genre that requires the right tools to capture fast-paced action and create stunning images. Whether you’re a professional sports photographer or an amateur, having the best lens for your Canon M50 and the newer but largely identical M50 Mark II can make all the difference.

With a wide range of options available, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. That’s why in this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of these lenses and what makes them perfect for capturing those split-second moments.

Obviously, I ruled out the big glasses and their astronomically ridiculous costs. Instead, we’ll be looking at some fantastic lenses that are somewhat affordable and can still deliver stunning results.

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 Image Stabilization STM Lens

Canon EF-M 18-150IS STM Lens 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 II Camera Lens

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS III USM

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens

Best Sports Photography Lenses for Canon M50 & M50 Mark II in 2023

1. Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 Image Stabilization STM Lens

Key Specs

Mount: Canon EF-M

Equivalent in 35mm format: 88-320mm

Elements/Groups: 17/11

Diaphragm Blades: 7

Min. aperture: f/22-f/32

Autofocus: STM

Closest Focusing Distance: 1m

Maximum Magnification (x): 0.21 at 200mm

Image Stabilizer: 3.5 stops

Filter thread: 52mm

Weight: 260g


  • Inexpensive
  • Good image quality for the price
  • Stabilized
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile zoom range


  • Plastic lens mount
  • Needs adequate light to achieve the best results

First on the list is this affordable and really good Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 Image Stabilization STM Lens. This lens is great for anyone who wants to take good, quality photos of sports or wildlife without breaking the bank.

Actually, it is the only EF-M native mount lens with a 200mm focal length, providing you with that extra reach when you want to capture your kid playing outdoor soccer, shooting outdoor games, and even capturing wildlife and other subjects at a distance.

I find the Canon EF-M 55-200mm sharper than its EF-S counterpart, the 55-250mm. Sure, the EF-S 55-250mm is cheaper, but it’s not as sharp all throughout the zoom range.

Canon EF-M 55-200mm autofocus is fast and dead silent, which is great if you’re taking videos. It can focus rather quickly and accurately, making it a great lens for taking photos of fast-moving subjects. But here’s a caveat: the autofocus can be slow when shooting in low light.

american football

I usually have more keepers when I’m shooting outdoors than when I’m shooting indoors with limited ambient light.

Since it has a starting aperture of f/5 at 100mm and f/5.6 at 200mm, taking photos in low light can be challenging. So, before grabbing this lens, you should consider what kind of venue you’ll be shooting in, and whether or not you need a faster aperture.

In my experience, I haven’t had issues when shooting indoor events like ice skating and basketball games. Sure, I missed a handful of photos here and there, but my overall experience with this lens has been positive.

I’ve had no major issues with the autofocus, and I’ve been able to get plenty of keepers using it.

And the Image Stabilization works really well even when using the 200mm focal length. If your hands are really steady, it’s almost like you’re shooting with a tripod.

Now, for its image quality, I’m actually quite surprised at the level of detail that this lens resolved. I can see the definition in the players’ faces, and the details on their uniforms.

It’s not as good as what you’d get from some of the most expensive Canon L series lenses, but it’s definitely better than what I was expecting from this lens.

I’ve shot some basketball games using this lens and the results were great considering how far away I was from the players.

Canon EF-M 55-200mm lens build quality is great even if it’s small and inexpensive. I like that it’s lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to carry around. It’s made of plastic but it feels solid and durable enough for me.

Now, the finishing on its plastic is similar to the newer RF lenses, it looks pretty and modern.

The zoom ring has a nice textured feel to it, which makes it easy to grip and use. And lastly, I like how responsive the focus ring is and the zoom function is also smooth.

2. Canon EF-M 18-150mm IS STM Lens 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 II

Key Specs

Mount: Canon EF-M

Equivalent in 35mm format: 28-240mm

Elements/Groups: 17/13

Diaphragm Blades: 7

Min. aperture: f/22-f/40

Autofocus: STM

Closest Focusing Distance: 1m

Maximum Magnification (x): 0.31

Image Stabilizer: 4 stops

Filter thread: 55mm

Weight: 300g


  • very versatile zoom range
  • turning action of the zoom ring is smooth and easy to use
  • sharp throughout its zoom range
  • 4 stops of Image Stabilization


  • plastic lens mount
  • not weather sealed

Another inexpensive EF-M lens for shooting sports with your Canon m50 or M50 mark II is the Canon EF-M 18-150mm IS STM. This lens has a very versatile zoom range, which makes it a good all-around lens.

It has an image stabilizer that can give you four stops of stabilization, which is more than enough for the majority of sports scenarios. Like many other Canon EF-M lenses, this one can is also lightweight and small.

If you only need to buy just one lens for your Canon m50 mirrorless camera, this is a great option. It has a wide end of 18mm, which you can use if you’re near the action, and it has a telephoto end of 150mm, which is perfect for getting shots of players from far away.

My friend of mine has had this lens for a long time and I’m glad that I was able to try it out. The lens is sharp and has great contrast, which will make my photos look amazing.

Vignetting is pretty evident when shooting in RAW format. However, it is not visible when shooting jpeg, since the camera will automatically correct it.


I can say that its image quality is pretty consistent throughout its zoom range. Meaning, the quality you can get from 18-150mm is quite good.

The photos came out sharp and the colors are accurate too.

Honestly, I’m really surprised about its autofocus performance. Focusing is fast especially when you use it with the Canon M50 series.

Since it has a slower aperture like its longer brother the Canon 55-200mm, you have to use a high ISO when shooting in low light to be able to get a fast shutter speed that can freeze the action.

This can lower the quality of your photos and introduce distracting noise.

So, to be able to get the most out of this lens, you have to be shooting in well-lit environments.

Now, its build quality is consistent with the EF-M zoom lenses line. It’s well built even though it’s made of plastic material. It has no weather sealing either.

But thankfully, I find this lens durable enough for day-to-day shooting. It will not break down easily as long as you’re not dropping it or throwing it around.

It’s not as heavy as other zoom lenses with an 18-200mm focal length, so you can use this lens for long hours without feeling fatigued on your hands. And with a simple twist of its zoom ring, you’re ready to go!

3. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

Key Specs

Mount: Canon EF

Elements/Groups: 9/7

Diaphragm Blades: 8

Min. aperture: f/22

Autofocus: USM

Closest Focusing Distance: 0.85

Maximum Magnification (x): 0.13

Image Stabilizer: No

Filter thread: 58mm

Weight: 425


  • amazing image quality
  • razor sharp
  • compact size
  • fast autofocus
  • good in low light


  • No IS

Unfortunately, we only have limited options when it comes to native EF-M lenses. But the good thing is, we can adapt Canon EF and EF-S lenses on our Canon m50 mirrorless cameras. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 is a fantastic lens that you can use to shoot sports.

Yes, it is widely known as a portrait lens but it does a great job with sports photography as well. You can use this lens for shooting action indoors or outdoors, in low light or bright light.

It may not be as convenient as a native EF-M mount lens, since we need to use an adapter in order to use it. But still, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 is worth considering if you’re looking for a sports lens.

I covered basketball games, pool matches, and some motor racing events with this lens and was very happy with the results. The focus is quite fast and accurate.

The image quality can rival a lot of expensive zoom lenses out there. Although there’s a slight softness when shooting wide open at f/1.8, it’s still usable and you can get better results by stopping down.


Its reach is also adequate for some casual photographers who want to capture action and sports. With the smaller sensor of the Canon m50, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 can technically become 135mm.

You can comfortably shoot a lot of sporting events and some baseball games with this focal length. Although, if you’re planning on shooting professional baseball, you might want to get a longer lens, about 200mm.

But if you’re looking for something to document your child’s sporting events or just some casual hobbyist photography, this is definitely a great focal length.

Physically speaking, the lens is relatively small and light compared to other 85mm lenses. It can definitely fit in a small bag and will not be too heavy on your shoulder during a long shoot.

The build quality is great and it has a metal mount. It feels solid in my hands and I have no doubt that this lens will last for a long time.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 is affordable and offers fantastic optical performance. I highly recommend this lens if you want to get started with sports photography.

– Alternative: Sigma 56mm f/1.4

4. Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS III USM

Key Specs

Mount: Canon EF

Elements/Groups: 23/19

Diaphragm Blades: 8

Min. aperture: f/32

Autofocus: USM

Closest Focusing Distance: 1.2m

Maximum Magnification (x): 0.21 at 200mm

Image Stabilizer: 3.5 stops

Filter thread: 77mm

Weight: 1480


  • amazing image quality
  • super fast autofocus
  • weather sealed
  • built like a tank
  • a not-so-common white lens


  • heavy

Okay, this lens is the most expensive and probably the heaviest lens on this list. However, the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L III is one of the best lenses for sports photography. It’s a beast of a lens and it’s highly recommended if you’re really serious and wants to get paid shooting sports and action.

The lens has unquestionable image quality, optical and autofocus performance. In fact, it is one of the most admired lenses in the market. It’s an excellent lens not just for sports photography but also for wildlife and portraits!

kids playing soccer

It is built like a tank and you can definitely feel right away how solid and premium the lens feels. It is also relatively heavy, weighing around 1437g. But it is 60 grams lighter compared to the previous Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L II.

The zoom range is versatile and offers a wide range of focal lengths that is suitable for any situation. The only downside is its weight but it’s still manageable.

Its autofocus is one of its main strengths. It’s blazingly fast and dead accurate even when adapted to mirrorless cameras like the Canon M50 line. I didn’t encounter any focusing issues while using it on my Canon M50 and Canon EOS R.

In fact, it’s one of the best autofocus lenses that you can use for sports photography. It has a constant wide f/2.8 aperture throughout its zoom range which makes it ideal for shooting low light situations.

If you have the means to afford it, the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L III lens is a must-have in your arsenal. If you’re planning to upgrade your camera body later on, then purchasing it will be ideal.

5. Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens

Key Specs

Mount: Canon EF

Elements/Groups: 21/15

Diaphragm Blades: 9

Min. aperture: f/22

Autofocus: HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor)

Closest Focusing Distance: 1.6m

Maximum Magnification: 1:3.8

Image Stabilizer: Yes

Filter thread: 67mm

Weight: 1160


  • longer reach
  • fast autofocus
  • lighter than most long zoom lenses
  • smooth focus function


  • slower autofocus and aperture than the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L III

If you don’t want to spend close to 2 grand for a long zoom lens, then maybe the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is the lens for you.

It’s a bit slower, with an f/5-6.3 aperture and slower autofocus speed than the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L III. However, it’s more affordable and has a longer reach.

It’s also lighter than most long zoom lenses, which can make it easier to carry around for longer periods of time.

The image quality it produces is great and has enough punch to give you some good shots of fast-moving objects without losing detail. The lens also has a zoom lock to keep it from creeping out of focus while you’re carrying it around, which can be very helpful if you’re moving a lot.

Another great thing I like about this Sigma zoom lens is its OS (optical stabilizer). It works well, especially when using the 100-300mm focal length. But I tend to find the OS slightly underwhelming when I’m shooting at 400mm.

I dunno if it’s just me or what, but I feel that its stabilizer isn’t as effective as it could be.

Next, its autofocus is fast enough for action. However, I find its autofocus a bit slow when used with the Canon M50 and M50 II. But when I tried it with a Canon 90D, I got more keepers and more sharp photos with this lens.

Overall, I can simply recommend the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG Lens. Even if it’s not perfect, I still think this Sigma zoom lens is a great choice for those who are looking for something affordable yet capable of producing awesome images.

You can also read: Best Canon Camera for Sports Photography


Is Canon M50 good for sports?

I can say that the Canon M50 is a good camera for sports photography. Its autofocus is fast enough to keep up with the action and I like how it’s easy to switch from one focus point to another with the touchscreen LCD.

What lens do sports photographers use?

canon lens at 70mm

Most photographers use telephoto lenses that allow them to capture the action from a distance. There are many kinds of telephoto lenses on the market, but most photographers choose between a 70-200mm or 100-400mm lens.

Having a constant aperture of f/2.8 on the lens is also a plus because it allows you to capture images in low-light conditions without having to use a flash.

Sports photography settings for Canon M50

Here’s our recommended settings for sports photography:
1. Set your camera to TV mode
2. Shoot in JPEG
3. Set the drive mode to high-speed continuous
4. Set the ISO Speed setting to ISO AUTO Max: 6400
5. Choose a fast shutter speed. Start with 1/500th
6. Set the metering mode to evaluative
7. Auto white balance
8. Set the picture style to Faithful
9. Set the AF Setting to Servo
10. Set the AF Method to Zone AF

How do I get my sports pictures sharp?

The most important thing to get your pictures sharp is to set the focus point correctly. Use a continuous AF mode, such as Servo AF. Use a very fast shutter speed usually around 1/500th or higher to freeze the action.

Can I use a 50mm lens for sports photography?

A 50mm lens can be a good lens for sports. If you’re shooting in a small field and the action is just near you, a 50mm lens can work. If you’re shooting at larger sporting events such as baseball and professional soccer, you’ll need a longer lens.